HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 cc2281-2
33. Sir L. Ropner

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that the colour and pattern of the uniform for pupils at grammar schools is not standardised; and whether she will assist the parents of those children who are forced to move from one school to another by recommending uniformity throughout the country.

Miss Horsbrugh

While I have asked for strict economy over school uniforms to avoid unnecessary expense to public funds and to parents, I do not think that it would be either sensible or acceptable to try to standardise school uniform throughout the country.

Sir L. Ropner

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when parents change the locality in which they live or work they are often under the necessity of having to buy a new uniform for a boy or girl to conform with the uniform in the new school? Is she aware that there are cases where parents, within a year or 18 months, have to buy two, three or even four uniforms?

Miss Horsbrugh

I know the difficulties, but I think that my hon. and gallant Friend would agree that the point of having a school uniform is to have a different uniform for different schools. In many cases assistance is given from public funds. I do not think that we want expensive uniforms, but we do want some distinguishing mark for pupils of different schools.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the right hon. Lady aware that most staffs of secondary grammar schools try to ensure that the required uniforms are not too expensive? Is she also aware that where there is a transfer to another school reasonable time is given for the provision of a new uniform, and that she might as well try to have the same school colours for Eton and Winchester as try to change the uniforms of the grammar schols?

Miss Horsbrugh

I agree, but I also sympathise with parents who have to move from place to place on account of their work and find that their children, on going into a new school, naturally want to wear the uniform of that school.

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